tv CBS Morning News CBS January 1, 2013 4:30am-5:00am EST
we're about to unlock a bit of a treasure chest. inside it sit many thousands of beautiful and fascinating objects, each with a story to tell. and it also reveals some secrets about a show that's become a bit of a national institution. welcome to "priceless antiques roadshow." ( theme music playing ) i've watched the "antiques roadshow" as long as i can remember. i've just finished my first season and i can tell you it's been a bit of an eye-opener. i've marveled at the encyclopedic knowledge of the experts and the sheer eclectic variety of objects brought in by the public. with 31 years of history under our belts,
we thought it would be a good idea to take you deep inside the "roadshow." over the next three weeks the team will share previously untold stories as they come face to face with classic finds from the past, truly priceless moments. have you ever wondered what were the most expensive items ever seen on the show? bruce: how did a mild-mannered art expert manage to outrage the women of shropshire? the whole reason that you've come to this w.i. is because of the remark you made. seems that today is the appointed hour of my penance. oh, no no! bruce: and "roadshow" veteran henry sandon takes us back to his onscreen debut when the "antiques roadshow" was a toddler in the world of television. we all love those jaw-dropping valuations when an expert has floored us with a five-figure bombshell
and there have been plenty of them over the years. but from 500 hours of programs which were the real corkers? here are five finds which shocked viewers with staggering valuations. who could forget the time when david battie valued a piece that norah ambrose brought to the "antiques roadshow"? what do you think this is? - well-- - as an object. it's a teapot, definitely. battie: well, norah, she brought in a large teapot. i think it might well have been a punch pot actually-- whieldon ware, mid-18th century. why are you so sure it's a teapot? well, my mother-in-law told me when she was a little girl that they used to use it as a teapot. i'd been chatting to norah and she was wonderful. she was-- i suppose she was then in her '70s and chatty and spontaneous. well, when my mother-in-law gave it to me, she said to me, "look after it now because," she said "it's over 100 years old," she said.
"it was very old when i was a little girl." it's more than true. - this is actually a very ancient pot indeed. - oh! battie: it was the first time that i think anybody had ever teased a client over the pricing. battie: you think it might be worth several hundred pounds? i don't know. i don't think so. - you wouldn't have thought so? - no. so even if i told you it was worth £600 or £800, you'd be really shocked, would you? - oh, i would. - right. what would you say if i said it was worth £2,000? - ( people laughing ) - oh, you're kidding aren't you? - battie: well, i am kidding actually. - oh. it's actually worth about £5,000 to £6,000. ( people gasping, laughing ) battie: it was just perfect. and she said, "of course i'll never sell it." are you all right? ( laughs ) two weeks later, i went up to the department where i was working at the auction house and there was her teapot. - she wanted to sell it. - ambrose: oh, gosh isn't that marvelous? woman: sell it.
well, what a wonderful way to start our new series of the "antiques roadshow..." it was a life-changing event for her because with that money she was able to buy her council house in liverpool in which she had lived paying rent for more than 30 years. so suddenly she had something that she could hand on to her family. well, the first item we saw of really enormous value i remember was in barnstaple in 1986. it's been in the family for quite a while. my grandfather gave it to my mother in 1930 and basically it's been up in the loft most of the time. it was very strange, the way it turned up. the couple who owned it didn't know the first thing about it and thought it was valueless. and they weren't even going to bother to come to the show. but the dog needed a walk and the dog's favorite walk was in the park right by our front door. so as they reach for the dog's lead when leaving home,
they said, "why don't we take that picture? we don't know anything about it. just on the off chance..." so they took the picture off the wall and brought it in with doggy. and the expert that day was peter nahum. now it is an extraordinary painting. i don't know who this painting's by. i know it's a wonderful painting. i would hope that-- some indications-- i mean it would be too much to hope, really that this was a lost painting by richard dadd. scully: it was well known that richard dadd had painted this picture but it had been lost for about 100 years. and suddenly out of the blue, it turns up completely unexpectedly in barnstaple. it was breathtaking. honestly, i've only had a few minutes to look at this and it needs some investigation. so what i would like to ask you to do is if we may take it to london on your behalf and investigate it further. oh, yes, certainly. we'd be interested as well, you see. scully: so with the owners' permission we took the picture back to london
took it to the expert and we said, "look, is this the long-lost richard dadd?" and she said "yes, it certainly is." so then we had to go back to the couple in barnstaple, went to their bungalow with a film crew and that's when peter gave them the good news and the valuation. it is an international treasure, a lost picture. and i feel that it could possibly make somewhere over £100,000. - oh! - ( laughing ) scully: he had just retired from his job. he was a driver for the royal air force, and so £100,000 for them would have been very useful and they decided to sell it. and the buyer, appropriately was the british museum. so that painting set the bar. it was the highest valuation we had ever had to that point. but the record didn't last very long because in crawley just a few years later we found something of even greater value. now crawley...
do you know i'm asked about crawley probably more than anything else i've ever done on the "roadshow"? it was a most extraordinary day. this chap arrived and produced the stag's head out of his bag. now my heart leapt at that moment. the stag's head stirrup cup-- a wonderful object absolutely stunning. gilded inside. and of course these are very collectible. actually one of the production team said it was at that moment i just lit up like a christmas tree. i would suggest you think in terms of about £10,000. woman: what? man: i'm not sure quite what to say. these are little things, but they seem to be worth-- you've got more? what else have you got in there? i'm a bit flabbergasted by that. - ah. - all right, now this one... ooh. i think this could be an early wine taster.
1607 in this case, so that's king james i. now that is exceptionally rare. richard hobbs: is was kind of hard to take in really at the time to think that we had a little james i wine tasting cup. that was, you know-- it was the fact that-- i think it was the fact that it was that old. that to me-- that rocked my boat. i would say one should be thinking in terms of, what, at least £12,000 to £15,000. ( woman laughs ) pickford: in fact, we never saw all of the silver. we did a rough sort of guesstimate of what the total value was, which we thought was probably approaching a quarter of a million pounds. but it is an extraordinary thing because one could actually say that you changed somebody's life. that family had been struggling. and suddenly by selling
a few of the items in that collection which they subsequently did, their lives literally changed simply because the son that morning had brought those pieces in to the "roadshow." bruce: it took another 10 years to eclipse that find. but in dumfries, books expert clive farahar knew he was about to make "roadshow" history. farahar: it's so detailed-- a mouse reading a newspaper on a stool. and i noticed it's signed h.b.p.-- helen beatrix potter-- and 1890. farahar: the collection of beatrix potter had the most wonderful provenance. they came through beatrix potter's brother who farmed in the borders. and there they were-- some finished, some unfinished. i love this one, actually. i don't know if you've got a favorite among them, but i think this is my favorite. "squintina tabby licensed dealer in tea." and there she is looking very very cross,
squinting at these two other cats who are obviously children or kittens rather, looking in through the window. i think that is absolutely fantastic. i would have thought that would have been worth well, £12,000 probably... - gracious. - ...or more. i can hardly believe this. it just goes on. all exquisite and done long before beatrix potter had any fame. last but not least are the ones that you had framed, and these are absolutely stunning. i would say £50,000 for those each. so you've got 23. you've got the best part of a quarter of a million pounds' - worth of goods. - oh. which i thought was an incredible amount of money. and the owner was not particularly "plussed" by it. one hopes when one says a large sum of money that somebody will sort of jump out of their chair and, you know, say wild things or whatever, have a wonderful reaction.
but he was very tame. i'm so delighted and thank you for bringing them in. bruce: but the "roadshow" record books were rewritten in 2008. art specialist philip mould broke the news. mould: this is the bronze maquette for the angel of the north the preparatory work that gormley the sculptor, antony gormley used to persuade you on the council to commission this great object. and how do you value something like this? well, it's easier to value than a lot of things of this stature, of this iconic resonance because another version did sell very recently. admittedly it was taller and it wasn't of bronze, and that made about £2 million, - or rather a little bit over that. - yeah. so i think on the basis that this is half the size i would comfortably value it at £1 million. amazing. absolutely amazing.
bruce: i was there when philip mould made the first ever million-pound valuation and it caused quite a bit of a stir. some people thought the item didn't belong on the "antiques roadshow," including some of our experts. more on that debate later in the series. for me it was great to be present for a real "roadshow" first. philip mould prepared carefully to deliver that valuation in front of eight million viewers and that's not something that always comes naturally. it can take years for experts to polish their bedside manner to deliver a relaxed chat when there's lots of cameras and people watching. well, they all had to start somewhere. in this series we're asking some of our smoothest operators to relive their very first moment in front of the cameras and we're starting with the much-loved ceramics expert henry of course. this is a very very charming porcelain mug. it's the earliest piece of porcelain we've had brought in today so far. where did you acquire it? sandon: i joined the program
in series 2. i'd seen some of the earlier ones and loved the program very much, and it was delightful for me when-- when i was asked to do series 2. a little cider mug a little quarter-pint cider mug. they drank little drinks of cider in those days. rather damaged which would of course lessen its value very very considerably. sandon: during the first recording it was quite interesting. i mean it was the first time one had the pleasure of meeting actual people and talking about their things which was nice. and this fellow brought in a caughley porcelain mug. did you know what it was when you acquired it? i just got interested in it. i just thought it was very nice you know. - i went for a clock and then... - you looked for a clock? ...ended up with a cup. well, i think i would prefer a mug like that myself to a clock but that's me, a porcelain man. one tends to be attracted to pieces of this nature. - man: it's very nice. - sandon: they're very pretty. and it was nice and simple and easy.
and i enjoyed it very much. can one ask how much you paid for it at the sale? - £30. - £30. sandon: i suppose i'm kind to people. i can winkle out of them little facts that they may not want to give certainly about how much they paid for it, which is-- they sometimes don't like to do. but it's nice to know how much they paid and then you can judge whether they're going to be shocked or surprised at what you tell them the value is. but it's always rather nice. well, if it had been a perfect mug, it would have been in the region of i suppose now £100 to £150. but it is cracked under the base which does lessen the value of any piece of porcelain. but congratulations on getting it. i hope it starts you off on a collection of porcelain - instead of clocks. - i hope so too. sandon: it was a nice, comfortable, happy nice little program that no one envisaged would go on forever, almost like "the archers." i mean it's quite incredible. here it is, still-- after all these years, still surviving.
we're shocked. henry sandon-- modest to the last. not surprisingly henry effortlessly charms all the people he meets on "roadshow" days. a queue even formed to kiss him once. pictures expert rupert maas on the other hand had quite the opposite effect on the women of shropshire recently. now i'd like to think i know a news story when i see it but i didn't see this one coming. it all started innocently enough at my first show at bolton abbey. maas: it's signed "talmage." - 1921. algernon mayow talmage. - right right. and he was rather an interesting artist i think. bruce: rupert was examining a painting and paid particular attention to a part of the subject's anatomy. well, the media frenzy started the very next day. well, there's uproar in shropshire tonight. a t.v. art critic upset women there for suggesting they have-- wait for it-- fat ankles. rupert maas made the comments during an episode of the much loved "antiques roadshow."
but she's got slightly worryingly thick ankles actually. i just can't help but notice them. - it's what my mother used to call shropshire ankles. - man: oh, right. maas: well, seems that today is the appointed hour of my penance. well, i was asked to give a comment on the shropshire ankle, which is now being known as the shropshire ankle debate in my position as the shropshire federation secretary of the women's institute. and in my remarks i just happened to mention that perhaps he would like to come to shropshire and make amends for the wickedness he had done in affronting our ankles. it seemed to me that the lady in the hammock was suffering a little bit from what the americans call a cankle, where the calf merges seamlessly into the ankle
without any sort of visible narrowing. and i thought-- i'd heard the phrase somewhere-- "shropshire ankle" would describe this condition properly but i reckoned without a certain sort of amount public backlash. according to mr. maas, women of the county have developed thickset ankles because the hilly terrain requires them to stomp around in sturdy footwear. so i'm on my way up to shropshire to atone for my sins for the grievous insult that i've given to the women of shropshire concerning their ankles. i'm going up to give a talk on art and hopefully they'll be all fast asleep by the end of it and won't lynch me. ( choir singing ) ( voices overlapping ) johnson: come to shropshire and
see some shropshire ankles attached to shropshire ladies. and, ladies, would you please welcome rupert maas? - good evening, ladies. - women: good evening. - ( laughter ) - i feel already so much happier. i can't tell you what it's been like upstairs, you know, in this deadly silence on my own - just waiting. - women: aw. and worried that you were going to do to me - what you did to tony blair. - ( laughter ) so we'll begin if that's okay. this picture is "flaming june" by frederic lord leighton. - does anyone recognize it? - women: yes. maas: it's a very famous picture isn't it?
it has become so. bruce: ahead of his lecture on the female form rupert made a research trip to the tate to build a case for the defense. maas: the sitter of this painting used to be thought to be a very beautiful girl called dorothy dene. in fact, we now think it's another girl called mary lloyd. i doubt she had a thigh quite that long. but my word, she was a stunner and she was quite-- well, if i may say quite well-built as well. great artists painting the human body often make exaggerations. michelangelo's "david"-- he's got the biggest feet you've ever seen in your life. i mean they're really absurdly large. there's a reason for it. he stands better for having big feet. if he didn't have big feet he'd fall over. and there's a reason for this girl being slightly disproportionate. it wouldn't work if her thigh was any shorter. that needs to spread across the composition to make the two halves of it like a yin and yang shape, work.
i do sometimes get into a little bit of trouble about commenting on the physical attributes of-- of figures in paintings particularly women. well, i'm analyzing them. i'm trying to understand them better. it was bought by my father in 1962 for £1,000. he put it on the wall of a gallery for £2,000. and i want you to try and guess how much it's worth. have a go. have a wild go, someone. - a hundred thou. - £100,000. - any advance on £100,000? - ( voices overlapping ) £200,000? more more more. come on, more. - woman: three-quarters of a million. - woman #2: a million. a million? i've heard a million in the front, straight. sorry, you're all beaten. no, it's worth at least £10 million. ( voices overlapping ) now it's valued at that by christie's at the moment and it's insured for that. - it's astonishing isn't it? - yes. any rate, do you think we should have kept it? bruce: so has rupert managed to redeem himself?
questions? anyone? the whole reason that you've come to this marvelous new frankwell little boro at w.i. is because of the remark you made about the ankles. - ah, yes. - now having been here for some while, what are your feelings on the ankles in shropshire now? ( laughter ) well, you know i've come at wintertime when most ankles are well-hidden. so i've not had the opportunities i'd hoped for. but upstairs i was given a small private view of a particularly... ( laughter ) ...particularly trim ankle i must say. i was very impressed by it. but perhaps whilst you're having a cup of tea you might examine a few more. maas: i-i would be absolutely delighted. - ( laughter ) - johnson: thank you, rupert. well, i've had a-- actually what turned out to be a completely lovely evening and i feel that they've let me off. they've actually forgiven me and so it was worth coming.
i'm completely off the hook, free as a bird and completely full, i'll say of the best lemon cake in christendom. thankfully rupert survived his trip to the shropshire w.i. but i wonder if he really was eating humble pie. now we all know how highly treasured family heirlooms can be. let me tell you that whether someone is eight or 80 years old, there are some objects that are so special, you can barely prise them out of their owners' hands. two women are on the front line when it comes to examining such precious pieces. hilary kay and bunny campione are our toy team but sometimes their role isn't exactly child's play. ( instrumental music playing ) i have to say bunny and i do get more than our fair share of furry creatures to deal with and the boys on the team always breathe a huge sigh of relief when they see that either bunny or i are there.
( silent ) can i borrow your teddy a minute? okay. campione: children on the children's "roadshow" have got to be very special. and i remember 1991-- it was wonderful. they all had their teddy bears and the teddy bears were great. but the most threadbare of all of them that really was-- everybody thought i was going to say was worth absolutely nothing. i said this is going to be worth more than all the others because it's one of the first steiff bears that could sit and stand. i know he's a steiff simply by looking at him. he's got the right-- got very long arms. do you see how long his arms are? they're almost down to his feet. i think i put something like £5,000 on it and there was a great sort of "whoo!" which is lovely when you've got children doing that. - did you hear that? - yeah. i tell you on that "next generation children's roadshow," not only did i have a little cutie-pie child to deal with who kept jumping out of his box
but i also had this stuffed puppet to deal with. and i mean they say you should never work with animals and children. well, you know i had the lot that day. do you ever go to toy fairs? - boy: yeah. - you do? - well, have-- - have you got any here? we have got some here. i tell you, there are some very good displays here with some of the old ones. are you interested in toy cars? - yeah. - are you? well, you ought to have a chat with gordon because he's a real enthusiast in toy cars as well. campione: now he's the wrong side for me so i'm going to just do it this way round. is he wound up? campione: i think it was kentwell hall in suffolk in 2007. the most delightful gentleman came in with his toys that he had played with. and they were unusual toys and they were the sort of toys that make the "roadshow" because they act-- they have action and they move and they make a noise. and we had this tiger which was pouncing and nobody knew it was going to pounce until we actually showed it and filmed
it. and so it's sort of doing this. you wind it up and then it suddenly-- whoop! - ( laughter ) - and everybody would "wah!" so that's what it's all about. oh, my goodness. and then the skating bear that he also had which i have never seen a skating bear smoking at the same time and he's got a muzzle on as well. god knows how he could smoke and have a muzzle on but there again it was very unusual and i put £2,000 on it. but i don't think they were interested in the money because they were interested in the actual pieces. there, he's opening his mouth now. ( thunder crashes ) bruce: perhaps the cutest of finds came bunny's way one very damp day in scotland. campione: in 2007 we went up to the very north of the castle of mey the lovely queen mother's house and it was so exciting to go up there. but my goodness, talk about weather.
i just couldn't believe the weather. so when i was filming this milk churn-- that you can actually hear the noise of the rain outside. - campione: it's yours? - yeah. i inherited it from my great-granny. campione: the young girl that brought in this milk churn didn't tell me anything. she just put it on the table and i thought, "i wonder what on earth is this." shall i have a try? campione: i knew it was an automaton but it was such an unusual one. ooh! - hello. how are you? - ( laughter ) and delightful the way it comes out and it's been licking the cream in the milk churn. ( laughter ) that's absolutely enchanting. oh! ( laughing ) campione: it certainly made people laugh which they weren't laughing before. ( instrumental music playing )
just goes to show every cloud has a silver lining. and if you think you have an even cuter keepsake from your childhood, why not bring it along to our new recordings of "antiques roadshow"? we'll save a spot in the queue for you. that's it for today. i'll be back at the same time tomorrow for more "antiques roadshow" revelations when we travel to the battlefields of the somme with paul atterbury and discover why his annual pilgrimage has become a family affair. and we'll reveal some of the most amazing bargain buys the "roadshow" has ever seen. do you have an idea of how much your mother's 50 shillings has gone up? - absolutely not. - right. before we end tonight, it's worth pointing out that things don't always run smoothly on the "roadshow." ceramics expert david battie came a cropper with a very innocent-looking plate which turned his face the same shade of pink. bye-bye. this is a very icing-sugar pink. one would almost-- dare i say it-- knicker pink.
( chuckling ) i mean the first impression is it doesn't kind of work too well. when you start looking at it it's absolutely fantastic. very clever. then we've got the v.r. monogram. vagina-- va-- ( laughter ) i think you'll have to try that one again. that's got to be the greatest outtake of all time. ( theme music playing )